Emerging Youth Program: Emerging Girls and Emerging Sons Immersion
at Black Women's Blueprint
We launched a five week intensive youth program titled Emerging Girls. This cyclical program offers workshops and learning exchanges using hands-on experience, narrative sharing, sister circles and co-creation of enhanced sexual violence prevention education. Our tools and strategies include community organizing, political education, and leadership development. Through Emerging Girls, we seek to address the following: Why does child sexual abuse prevail in Black communities? What specific cultural norms allow it to permeate our families and neighborhoods? What assets do we have to end child sexual abuse? Emerging Girls engages youth around ending child sexual abuse through topics including but not limited to sexual health, abortion access, breaking down barriers to youth sexual health care, menstrual health, queer and trans-reproductive justice and many more. This program is steeped in a Black feminist analysis informed by Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, Janet Mock, Ntozake Shange, and Alexis Pauline Gumbs, to name a few. We also problematize and call into question beloved icons like Beyonce, Cardi B. and Rihanna. We analyze the ways they proclaim to use their bodies for the purposes of educating and participating in liberation. Youth organizers are expected to walk away with the ability to define child sexual abuse, understand the continuum of sexual violence, discuss the terms that fall under child sexual abuse, and discuss the many ways child sexual abuse is manifested. Emerging Girls is not only a safe/brave space where youth disclose violence that had happened to them, but propose ways for prevention of child sexual abuse through their research and activities
Through education and support of the youth, families and communities we strengthened individuals’ knowledge of child abuse and increase bystander efficacy to prevent violence through art visuals and technology. We also increase larger community awareness through focused bystander intervention workshops, social marketing and new media campaigns, PSA’s, interactive radio shows, webinars, podcasts, and the public distribution of detailed print materials.
BWB wants to deepen the impact of its child sexual abuse, and rape/sexual assault prevention program.
Completing a series of visual and illustrated videos and digital games aimed at parents and guardians in our on-going campaign to end child sexual assault with the inclusion of topics around porn, child porn, exposure and access to porn, ambiguous consent and violence in porn.
Build digital slide decks and creative content to educate and promote health sexuality for youth and teens engaged in our Emerging Programs through innovative and transformative feminist curricula with a reproductive justice lens.
Expanding the anti-rape conversation in communities of color to begin a dialogue around the proliferation of pornography, build multi-racial/multi-gender alliances that are strategic in communities working to end child abuse, and issues of non-consent and consent.
Expanding our social media parent group to add a once a month webinar or podcast where parents can speak their concerns in real time, ask real questions and participate in conversation and debate to debunk some of the myths about why child sexual abuse occurs and how to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Strengthen our existing mental health services including crisis intervention and counseling to prevent reoccurring or new incidents of abuse through education, intervention, awareness and healing. We seek to expand counseling services, support groups and our weekend drop-in center for the increasing number of young (11-18 year old) survivors of rape, sexual assault/abuse and children who have already been exposed to porn who are reaching out for BWB services and support the prevention of further incidents of abuse and exposure.
Through Emerging Sons, Black Women's Blueprint:
Engages Black men as leaders and raise national awareness that sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking is both a women’s and a men’s issue.
Expands Access to a National Public Education Program that trains stake-holders to engages men and boys at five levels: individual, relationship, family, community, society;
Engages African-American communities in grassroots organizing to encourage men and boys to work as allies with women and girls to prevent sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking;
Establishes a culturally and linguistically specific informational and referral system to expedite the provision of services to victims who disclose sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.
The Emerging Sons programmed was established to deliver a clear call-to-action for male identified people to participate in ending sexual violence in their own homes and communities. Black Women’s Blueprint brought this year’s project to the southern region to work with areas that have majority Black populations. We worked to establish programs across the country to effectively re-shape black masculinity and social categorization of black maleness, black masculinity, and black male identity and the way in which it colludes and collides to create perpetrator identity in the United States.
To this end, Black Women’s Blueprint works to meet the following goals:
Prevention Curriculum implementation
Develop, publish, and pilot prevention and bystander intervention curriculum for Black men and boys in southern communities with high-density African-American populations Progress we have made: We have piloted a new and innovative bystander intervention curriculum coupled with culturally-specific comic book style visuals and experiential activities for Black men and boys. We have also initiated prevention programming within youth community programs to build resilience and counter pejorative narratives and stereotypes of black males as violent and hypersexualized.
Critical Participatory Action Research for data collection and peer-to-peer support
Using the community-based Critical Participatory Action Research (CPAR) model, BWB will conduct surveys, semi-structured interviews, and focus groups with 90 participants in at least 3 community programs seeking to answer questions young men have already identified as critical such as, "What will it take to end sexual violence?"
Leadership and Skill Development to prepare Black male youth and especially Black fathers of all ages to lead the charge and use their voices in ending sexual violence
Train and cultivate an Emerging Sons Speakers Bureau for public speaking opportunities in order to elevate the efforts of male role models in Black communities
Curate and deploy Emerging Sons’ content specifically for Black men and boys as extension of our previous program to build a culturally-specific website, social media collateral, and deploy Emerging Sons visuals and messages in public spaces, including on city buses, billboards, and through print or digital media.
Throughout the programs and activities, Emerging Sons has focused around discussing and dismantling toxic masculinity and all the ways it encompasses the male experience for Black men in the 21st century.